Woodland Management with the Bristol Scouts

On Tuesday the 31st of July Natural England and the Woodland Trust joined forces with 41 Scouts from the 77th, 90th and 167th Bristol Scout Troops and Steama Explorer Scout unit, for a day of conservation activities in Pullabrook Wood. The Explorers teamed up with East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve manager Albert Knott, to survey lichens along some of the woodland’s ancient boundaries. The other two groups teamed up with Jim White, from the Woodland Trust and the Natural England ConservationRead more

Crucial Connections – Lichen on Wood Banks

Volunteers in the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve have been taking the chance to do some real science; citizen science that is going to contribute to a better understanding of lichens across the ancient woodlands of the South West. The “Atlantic” woodlands around Dartmoor are under pressure and, in some areas, becoming isolated or disconnected from each other. But there are some remnants of ancient woodland, draped like threads across the landscape that provide a lifeline of natural habitat betweenRead more

What’s new with Marmaduke and his herd?

There have been some big changes recently on the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. Sadly in March one of our residential Dartmoor ponies, Pignut, passed away. This has left the reserve with a herd of thirteen ponies, who are an integral component of conserving the woods and heath. These ponies are well-loved by our staff, but they are maintained as semi-feral to ensure they are focused on the task of maintaining the reserve, rather than being too interested in ourRead more

A Cut Above the Rest

Hidden away in the rolling meadows above Bovey Tracey a champion is preparing to challenge some of the best foresters in the world. Richard Elliott, a groundsman, has been involved in chainsaw logging competitions since 1986, when he entered a contest at the Devon County Show. Since then, he has honed his skills and has earned the accolade of UK logging champion 16 times in all. To reach this standard of expertise, he needs to prepare for five different disciplinesRead more

Shades of Light & Dark

The varied chain of woodlands along the Bovey Valley are among the significant habitat features of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve (NNR). They also form part of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These classifications aren’t handed out lightly; they are only bestowed on places where local wildlife is a priority, where there is something of note that is so remarkable that we need to protect it and conserve it forRead more

Pullabrook Wood Boundary – Lost in Time?

Ancient boundaries can maintain a vital link to the past; across Devon there are many miles of earth banks with different characters. Some stand stony-faced while others are draped with a display of wildflowers. Some have a shrubby hedge running along the top and others remain bare-backed. Some may be hundreds of years old while others began their existence back in the mists of history, maybe even thousands of years ago but, for all of them, their original purpose inRead more